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My Children in Church~Part 2

20 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

As I mentioned in my previous posting, a memory came to my mind recently that caused me to giggle.  When I described it to Fred, my husband, he chuckled, as well. Hope you think it’s funny, as well.

Also as I mentioned, we were in a fairly large church at that time – the time of this incident.

 

Credit Google Search and First Baptist Church, Panama City, Florida website

 

Because it was a large church, the Minister of Music wanted the choir to stay in the choir loft during the entire morning service, and, surprisingly, he wanted us to stay up in the choir loft during the EVENING service, as well.  Being dutiful choir members, we did just that.  We weren’t too keen on staying up during the evening service, as that meant that we were never able to sit with our children during any worship service. But that was a sacrifice we made, to be part of the music program at that church.

Well, I know that children will get into all kinds of trouble in church.  Just the nature of the beast, I guess.  I remember some stunts I pulled as a child, so I guess I should have expected our girls to follow along that path.  And they did!

But this one particular evening service – it was along about the same time frame as the incident mentioned in my previous post – as I was in the choir, listening to the pastor give his sermon, that I noticed our two girls.  They happened to be sitting with two of their good friends.  The boys’ mother was also in the choir with us.

I noticed that all four of the children would look down together at something in the hands of one of the boys.  And then they would look way up.  That puzzled me.  What in the world were they looking at?  Look down….look way up…..look down….look way up.  On and on it went.  I finally managed to look up at the same time they did – and what did I see? The reflection of a hand-held mirror, bouncing off the mirror from one of the chandeliers in the Sanctuary – and hitting the ceiling of the Sanctuary!  He must have finally found just the right angle for the mirror to reflect on the ceiling!

Before I had time to get up and leave the choir loft – the service ended.  As you might imagine, I made a mad dash to the children!!  I told them two things: 1) you four are NEVER to sit together again. 2) don’t ever bring a mirror into the Sanctuary again!  Actually, I told the girls a third thing – LOOK AT ME OCCASIONALLY!!  I would give them “the look” and they knew that I meant for them to stop whatever they were doing and SIT STILL!  Pay attention to what was being said!

Oh well, kids will be kids, I guess.  But it’s a funny memory to have.  And, as I posted last time:

Children are a heritage from the Lord….

Psalm 127:3

 

Karen and Janet – 1976

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

My Children in Church~Part 1

13 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

A memory came to my mind recently that caused me to giggle.  When I described it to Fred, my husband, he chuckled, as well.  Hope you think it’s funny, as well.

You see, in most Baptist churches (we are Baptists, as you might surmise), children have their own Sunday School classes, divided by ages.  That way, they can learn about church and God at their own age level.  We as parents try to do our part in that, teaching them by the way we live, speak, and act, that we are children of God.  In any case, by the time a child reaches the age of four, they are allowed to go to the regular worship service, rather than still being in a nursery/classroom setting during that time.

Because Fred and I have always been in the adult choir during worship services, we usually enlist the help of an older couple to “sit” with our children in the worship service itself.  If we are in a small enough congregation to allow the choir members to leave the choir loft and return to the regular congregation, we then will pick up our child/children and sit with them during the remainder of the service.  However, if we are in a large church, the choir usually remains in the loft during the service.  What I am about to tell happened in a large church.

 

I guess we had not told Karen (our oldest daughter)

 

Karen about the age of this incident

 

 

that when Janet (our youngest daughter) was “promoted” to the five-year-old class, she would be going into the worship service. Or if we did, she didn’t absorb that information.

So, what to my surprise, did I see Karen ANDJanet beaming at us from the second pew, as we entered the choir loft the first Sunday after Janet turned four-years-old! Karen had taken it upon herself to go and get Janet from her class that day!

All went fairly well for a while, but then Janet, being the tease that she was,

 

Janet at the age of this incident

 

decided she wanted to sit on the front pew!  So she eased herself around the end of the pew. I saw Karen trying to coax Janet back to the second pew, i.e. face set in an imploring expression (head tilted up, mouth in a hard, straight line, eyes closed), index finger stridently indicating that Janet should return to Karen’s side!  And, of course, Janet was ignoring her completely.

 

Well, Janet made it to the front pew, just as the preaching began.  As it turned out, the minister of music (who was a good friend of ours) had just left the stage area and sat down next to Janet on the front pew.  I watched them throughout the remainder of the service (I have no recollection what the Pastor preached on – I was too busy watching the drama enfold!).  Every time Janet wiggled, our friend just patted her hand, and she stopped wiggling. Whew!

We managed to get through the service, and thanked our friend for taking things into his own hands.

And we made sure that Karen understood that Janet was not to be taken into the service until she had been promoted to the next age class!

But, as I said, as I look back on it – it makes me giggle to remember.

 

Children are a heritage from the Lord….

Psalm 127:3

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Happy New Year 2019

6 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I can hardly believe that another year has passed by – and it’s 2019 already!!  Remember all the “hoopla” that was made over Y2K (year 2000)?  None of that came to pass, and now it is 19 years past that!!  Amazing. My life is whizzing by!

In thinking of the new year, many random thoughts have come to my mind.  I would like to share some of them.

I wrote a post on December 29, 2013 (Memories of New Years Past) about the “watchnight” service that was held each New Year’s Eve at my home church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Lovely memory of home.

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico Credit Google Search

Another memory of New Year’s Eve watchnight service was when Fred and I were in Wiesbaden, Germany.  That New Year’s Eve, the little church we were in was having a watchnight service, and they wanted to do a skit.  They needed an “old year” grownup, and a “new year” young child. They asked Fred to be the old year, and since our Karen was small, they thought she would be good for that.  Fred had a fake white beard and wig to wear. So as not to frighten Karen, we had Fred dress up in the wig and beard and then present himself to her.  She took one look at him and said, “Hi Daddy.” So much for the disguise!  We were quite amused.  (I thought I had a picture of the two of them, but unfortunately, I can’t find it.  Sorry)

Our church in Seaford, Virginia always had some type of watchnight service.  It wasn’t as elaborate as the one in Albuquerque – I don’t remember having a dinner or movie or games or anything.  But we did gather and prayed, shared thoughts for the new year, and frequently had the Lord’s Supper, or communion, as some call it.  Another sweet memory.  I do remember that the year Karen and Brian married (on December 30), that as we were sharing thoughts, I shared that I would have to learn to keep my mouth shut and be a good mother-in-law!

Seaford Baptist Church, Seaford, Virginia – oldest buildings

And that brings us to Orlando, Florida, where we now live.

 

Because Fred and I have had such good memories of watchnight services throughout our lives, we wanted to have a service at our current church.  We really thought most churches have a service of some sort, so the first year we were in our church here, we suggested to the pastor that the church have a watchnight service.  He wasn’t very enthusiastic about it, saying they had never had one before, but if we wanted to sponsor it, he approved.  And so we spread the word, that the church would have a watchnight service, beginning at 10:30 p.m. on that New Year’s Eve.  We arrived at the church at about 10:15 p.m. and got the church ready for the service.  And we waited….and we waited….and we waited….11:00 p.m. came and went…..11:30 p.m. came and went.  And not one other person arrived.  So we went home.  And we’ve not attempted to have another watchnight service in this church since. In a way, that hurts our hearts a bit, but then, we are now older, and enjoy being at home – and usually in bed asleep – when the clock hits 12:00 midnight each New Year.

 

I hope and pray that your new year is healthy and prosperous and full of the JOY OF THE LORD!

 

And so – HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019 from the Wills family!

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joyand peaceas you trust in him,

so that you may overflow with hopeby the power of the Holy Spirit

Romans 15:13

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Fred Remembers~Part 18

30 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

More of Fred’s adventures at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (UNM):

 

University of New Mexico – Credit Google Search and UNM websit

 

During the first week – Freshman Orientation – various organizations on campus set up tables to advertise their presence.  As God would have it, the first table I came to was the BSU – Baptist Student Union.  They quickly found out I was a believer, and they offered to provide a ride to church the next Sunday.

Sure enough, on Sunday, one of the students came to the dorm and took me to his church – the First Baptist Church of Albuquerque.  I remember the young men’s Sunday School class he took me to was called “The Radiators.” Their motto was:  “if we rest, we rust.”

 

Photo credit Google search First Baptist Church, Albuquerque

 

After visiting that church for a few months, I joined the church and soon joined the adult choir.

One of the classes I signed up for was Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps).  (There are only three ways to be commissioned as an officer in the United States military:  (1) ROTC, (2) attending the Military Academy, or (3) completing Officer Training School (affectionately called the “90 Day Wonders,” since it is a 90-day program).

During my third semester of ROTC, I completed all the officer-qualifying exams which included a complete physical exam.  My vision was such that I was not qualified to be a pilot.  Since the Air Force was only commissioning pilots at that time, I was not allowed to continue in the ROTC program.  Some years later, after I completed my graduate school, I applied to Air Force Officer Training School and was accepted.  After completing the 90 days, I was commissioned a 2ndLieutenant in the Air Force.  I was immediately ordered to San Jose State College in California for training as a meteorologist.

 

Fred’s commissioning 1966

 

Fred receiving his commission papers as a 2nd Lieutenant

 

For many years, beginning in my high school years, I had a “Dairy Queen” hairdo, complete with a large curl in front.

 

 

 

 

I knew the Air Force ROTC unit would not allow such a haircut, so before my first class, I went to the nearby Kirtland AFB barber shop and had my hair cut in a very short “flattop,” which I kept until after Judy and I arrived in Germany in the summer of 1967. (As a side note to this: I quickly discovered after arriving in Germany in 1967, that the German people looked askance at me with my flattop.  It was because Hitler’s German Youth Corps wore their hair so short, that I reminded them of the Nazi’s.  When I learned that, I let my hair grow out – but no longer with the curl)

 

 

Charles wrote:   In December of 1957 we left Japan for assignment to Cannon Air Force Base at Clovis, New Mexico.  There we would be not too far from Fred.

We went over to Albuquerque to pick up Fred at the end of his first year there and brought him to spend the summer with us.  During that same summer we were visited by a group of young people from the First Baptist Church of Albuquerque.  Fred had joined that church and was active in the young people’s group. Among those visiting us was a very attractive young woman who seemed interested in Fred and he in her. Eventually this mutual interest led to their marrying a few years later.

 

 

 

And so, as they say, the rest is history……

 

~~~~~~~~~THE END~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Look Who Came For A Visit.

23 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Many of my readers live in wooded areas, or near woods.  Fred and I have never really lived in that type of situation – we’ve always lived in cities.  I guess the closest we have come to anything like that is where we live now. We are just a stone’s throw from what Floridians call “wetlands.”  Builders are unable, by law, to build houses or apartments or commercial buildings in those area.  The wetlands are, therefore, protected from developers.

Wikipedia states:   A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilization of shorelines, and support of plants and animals.  Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. Whether any individual wetland performs these functions, and the degree to which it performs them, depends on characteristics of that wetland and the lands and waters near it.

 

That’s a lot of verbiage, but it does describe what a wetland is and how it affects our lives.

All that to say that, we have a lot of diverse animals that frequent our housing development.  We frequently see turkeys in the neighborhood, usually four or five in a group, and either all males or all females.

 

 

We were quite amused one time to see a flock of wild turkeys walking down our street. What was so amazing was that there were four “mother” turkeys, and 21 babies!!  Here are pictures we took of that.

 

 

 

Occasionally we see Sand Hill Cranes – one of my favorite birds!  They have those beautiful red heads, and such an unusual call!

 

Credit Wikipedia and George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Ladner, British Columbia

 

When we lived in Kissimmee, before moving to Orlando, we would quite often see plovers, not only flying around, but literally running down the street. And baby plovers are absolutely adorable!

 

Credit Google search

 

 

We’ve seen raccoons, but we try to keep our distance from them, since there is always a chance of rabies in that particular animal.

But the most unusual animal to grace our own back yard recently was a female deer! I opened the vertical blinds one morning recently to the back patio, and what to my surprise, was this beautiful deer looking back at me on the other side of the screened-in patio.  She was beautiful!  And was quite unafraid of me.  I did nothing more than take her picture (through the screen), and she seemed quite calm.

 

 

Before she left, a group of turkeys came by, and they all had a meal on the grass. They didn’t bother each other at all.

 

 

 

The deer showed up one other morning, but I haven’t seen her since.  I keep looking, however, hoping she will show up again.

 

All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all.

Anglican Poem and hymn written by Cecil Frances Alexander

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Fred Remembers Part 17

16 Dec

Sunday Memories

Judy Wills

 

And so, in August of 1957, I left the family in Tokyo and flew on a PanAm flight across the Pacific Ocean with stops at Wake Island, Midway, and at Hickam AFB in Honolulu.

 

Hickam AFB flight line

 

Charles wrote:  It was during our assignment to the 41st  Air Division and Johnson Air Base that our older son, Fred, left us to return to the United States and matriculation at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. He was the first of our children to leave the nest and I felt his absence very keenly.  I know the other family members also missed him but, for me, it was a shock.  I was to feel that same shock when the other children, in their turn, left Kitty and me and I never did get used to it. Oh, I learned to live with the fact that we had our children only for a few years and that they must leave us to take their place in the world.  It was the will of God and we had to accept the reality.

A friend of mine, Pete Benefield, was on the same flight.

 

Pete Benefield and friends, Hawaii

 

While in Tokyo, we kept each other company.  We stayed at the same hotel.  Nearby was a theatre that was showing Around the World in 80 days.  The theatre had been built just for that movie.  A ticket cost 80 yen (360 yen = $1.00 U.S.).  It was in Cinemascope and full stereo sound.  We had seats near the back.  It was in English with Japanese subtitles.

The next day we flew out on a DC7  with four old propeller engines.  We stopped in Wake Island to refuel.  As we were landing, I could see the ocean white caps under the wing.  We used nearly all the runway to land.  After Wake Island, we flew to Hickam AFB in Hawaii.

Pete stayed in Hawaii.  I flew on to San Francisco International Airport.  I took a cab into town, to the train station.  I stayed in a hotel overnight, then took a train the next day to Los Angeles.  Aunt Eleanor (Mom’s sister) and Uncle Bob met me at the station.

A few weeks later, I took the El Capitan from LA to Albuquerque, New Mexico to attend the University of New Mexico.

 

Sandia mountains from my dorm window – UNM golf course

 

After registration, the University put me in a room in Mesa Vista Dorm – the only men’s dormitory at that time.

 

Mesa Vista Dorm

 

They put me in a small, two-man room, but instead of two single beds, there were two bunk beds.  They actually put four men in one small room.  Apparently they did not expect all of us to complete the first semester.  As it turned out, two did drop out by the start of the second semester.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Fred Remembers-Part 16

9 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

During my senior year at Narimasu,

 

Tokyo American High School Narimasu

 

I was concerned about what I was going to do about college.  I knew I wanted to go to college, but I wasn’t sure where.

In the meantime, while we were in Japan, I had come down with some fairly annoying hay fever.  It wasn’t quite asthma, but similar.  Lots of people told me I needed to go to a dry climate, so I was looking and inquiring around as to where a good place to go to school would be.

The librarian at Johnson Air Base – I don’t remember how I got to discussing it with her – talked to me about going to college, and she was from Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is little over a mile high.

 

Sandia Mountains outside Albuquerque, New Mexico – credit Google Search

 

It is obviously semi-desert and very dry climate.  She persuaded me to put in an application for the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

 

University of New Mexico – Credit Google Search and UNM website

 

UNM lobo – mascot – Credit Google Search and UNM website

 

I had already applied to Washington State University, Purdue University, Florida State University, and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  I actually had line numbers for Washington State and the University of Illinois.

Fortunately, my grade levels had improved over the years, and I was able to be the Valedictorian of my high school class, had done fairly well on the National Merit testing, and received Honorable Mention.  [Judy’s comments here: Fred’s sisters once told me that he went straight from age 12 to 20!  He lost all interest in pursuing girls, and began his absorption in his studies]   All that meant that the universities were sort-of bidding for my attendance.  But the librarian persuaded me that the University of New Mexico would be a good fit, both for the climate, and also the fact that it had a good physics department, which I was interested in.  I was especially interested in astronomy, and UNM had their own observatory there.  I think that was the last school I applied to, and I was, fortunately, accepted.

Since UNM was a land-grant school, even though I was out-of-state, the tuition was very reasonable – as I recall, it was about $323 per semester for tuition and about the same for room and board.  My parents were happy with that, and I happened to get a scholarship from my high school.

With all that in mind, come August of 1957, I left the family in Tokyo…….

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.
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